Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has further transitioned education towards electronic devices, computer science education in K-12 public schools around the country faces a number of daunting challenges. These include insufficient access to computer science classes and clarity about computer science curricula, inadequate teacher preparation, and uneven interest on the part of institutions of higher education.
About Ze'ev Wurman
Ze’ev Wurman is a senior fellow with the American Principles Project. He participated in developing California’s education standards and the state assessments in mathematics between 1995 and 2007 in various capacities. Between 2007 and 2009 he served as a senior policy adviser with the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC. In 2010 Wurman served on the California Academic Content Standards Commission that evaluated the suitability of the Common Core standards for California and was one of its two members who voted against their adoption for California. He has been published in professional and general media. In his non-educational life he is an executive in a semiconductor start-up company in the Silicon Valley and holds over 25 US patents.
At a time of declining state and national math proficiency, after-school math programs offer a viable option for quickly increasing the number of mathematically competent students. In this study, Pioneer Institute profiles two such programs: Kumon and the Russian School of Mathematics.
This paper, the second of a two-part analysis, finds that Massachusetts’ Next Generation Science Standards adopted last spring by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) fall short. The authors conclude they are unclear, unnecessarily complicated, miss important content, and fail to make important connections.
The final version of the Common Core standards was released in June 2010. Also released at the same time was a report containing the signatures of 24 members of the Common Core Validation Committee, a committee appointed in the summer of 2009 to review the various drafts of the standards and to assure the public that the standards in mathematics and English language arts were research-based, rigorous, and internationally competitive.
The case for national standards rests in part on the need to remedy the inconsistent purposes and inferior quality of many state standards and tests in order to equalize academic expectations for all students. The argument also addresses the urgent need to increase academic achievement for all students.
The academic and economic implications of Common Core’s definition of college and career readiness standards in ELA and mathematics should be receiving extensive examination by every local and state school board in the country, by editorial boards in all major media, and by the U.S. Congress before cash-strapped states are coerced by the USED’s criteria for RttT funds, membership in test consortia, or Title I funds into committing themselves to Common Core’s standards. That they have not is perhaps the most serious matter of all.
In short, the rush to move from 50 state standards to a single set of standards for 50 states in less than one year, as well as the lack of transparency in CCSSI’s procedures, have excluded the kind and extent of public discussion merited by the huge policy implications of such a move.